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Felix Riede

Search for new final Palaeolithic rock shelter sites in the Federal State of Hesse

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The eruption of the Laacher See volcano ca. 13.000 years ago profoundly influenced the lifeways of Final Palaeolithic foragers inhabiting the fallout area. Apart from the substantial devastation that affected the proximal area around the eruptive centre (<50 km), substantial amounts of tephra covered the medial (50–500 km) and distal (500–1000 km) zones of the eruption. In particular, substantial amounts of volcanic ash were transported towards the northeast across Germany and into the Baltic region. In order to find new sites that would allow us to investigate the far-field effects of this cataclysmic event in detail, a predictive model using a legacy dataset of rock shelters in the Federal State of Hesse in Central Germany was developed. Hitherto, only few sites where Laacher See tephra is directly stratigraphically associated with Final Palaeolithic archaeology are known in the region. Following the in silico evaluation of the archaeological potential, two survey campaigns were conducted which resulted in the discovery of several locations that in turn will be subject to keyhole excavations in a subsequent field campaign.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Pages (from-to)168-178
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

    Research areas

  • Final Palaeolithic, Hesse, Laacher See volcano, Predictive modelling, Survey

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